The Friday after we got back from our Disney Cruise was the school's Arts Festival.
I kind of feel responsible for part of the Arts Festival, because they changed the way they do it because of me. One of the other mothers, who is instrumental in the Festival, was at my house last year and saw some of the pieces of art I'd purchased at our old school's Art Fair Auction. These are pieces made by the kids, and auctioned off at the festival. When this other mother was admiring them (as the most interesting art in our house) she was floored when I told her they were made by my daughter's class in 2nd grade (she made the bottom heart) This piece is about eighteen inches long by about eight inches wide.
and by the 1st graders in our old school. I am not related to any of the kids who made this piece, it was just my favorite that year. This one is about three feet long and weighs a lot, as the clay pieces are glued onto an old piece of metal, the swirly things are welded on.
Anyway, you get the picture, they're kind of neat unusual pieces of art.
So she proposed we do collaborative projects like that for this school, and sell them at the festival, and asked if I'd help.
So this year they totally changed the way they do the festival to include these collaborative projects. And my biggest disappointment here is that I don't have pictures of the pieces, because they were TRULY AMAZING. In this school, instead of the Art Ladies running the whole show and picking out with the teacher a project for the class to do and making it, the parent volunteers, who run the art projects in the class every month, picked out a project for the classes to do and did them. At our old school there was a lot of pottery, and a lot of welding. We don't have a kiln in the school here, and no welders that I know of. So we had to resort to other things.
I am in charge of Thing 2's art class of 4th graders, and this is what we did.
We did two copper weavings. The kids wove copper strips and wire into a larger sheet of copper, and rubbed texture into all the copper to make it more interesting. Then I took it over to the woman's house who first saw the art in my house and suggested we do collaborative pieces, she is a real artist, by the way, and she helped me cook it with a torch to make it have the burny patina.
I didn't get close ups... but I may provide a close up grab from my picture.
We made two weavings. Because only a couple of kids could weave at a time, I had to come up with something for the rest of the kids to do while waiting for their turn. So I came up with a copper rubbing idea, keeping with the copper theme. Each kid rubbed a little five by five piece of copper. I strung them together in sets. There were three sets of five, and one set of three, which my artisty friend helped me distress. That is the one I bought, which is why I got a picture of it.
I was at a friend of Thing 2's the other day and found she had bought all three of the five panel pieces, and was hanging them side by side. I should have got a picture. They looked great together. We didn't distress them, just let them stay shiny coppery.
The other thing about this arts fair is that they let the kids have booths. Normally they let local artists display their stuff for sale, but this year they opened it up to the kids, instead. I knew Thing 1 would come up with something, but had to help Thing 2 come up with something.
From the Epbot blog, which is one of my first go-to spots for all things interesting, I found this idea of baking baking pony beads to make little flowers. Bingo. Thing 2 is going to love this.
The problem with putting up a booth, is you have to have inventory. Both girls and their mother (ME!) worked night and day for the month leading up to the cruise, and the week after, making sure there was enough inventory to sell at their art booths.
I suggested Thing 1 start with Polymer clay necklaces. But once she made the beads they were SUPER labor intensive for me to assemble. Then she made a tiny little polymer clay animal. All that was required of me was to put it on a pin and make a pendant out of it, and put the clasp on a cord or chain. Eventually Thing 1 was even able to do most of this herself, though she never really mastered the bending of the pin to make a perfectly round bezel hook, so I did that part.
And this is the result.
She sold the little animals for $5, the bigger ones for $7, and some of my more complicated necklaces and earring sets for $12.
Thing 2's inventory was a little less labor intensive, and she had more items.
She sold these hair clip sets for $2.00, the necklace and earring sets for $3.00. Bookmarks and magnets were a dollar a piece.
At the end of the night I was somewhat frustrated that the collaborative pieces auctioned off so low. Those big pieces I had done, easily 2 feet by 3.5 feet of copper, went for about $50.00. The copper alone in them was worth I don't know how much, but at least twice that.
The little pieces went for about $20 each. The school made about $3000.00. I wish they'd made twice that but the other art ladies were very pleased, saying it was the first year we'd done it this way, and seeing this great art in each other's homes will be a good advertisement for next year, when they intend to do it this way again.
My girls made out great. Thing 2 cleared $120, and Thing 1 made over $200.00.
They want to have booths again in next year's arts festival. I told them now I've shown them how to do it, next year they're on their own, and they have to pay for more of their supplies, though they both have a lot to start with already from leftovers from this year.
They were so tickled, though, it was a lot of fun to watch people coming over and admiring their items, and it's been really neat to see people wearing their jewelry and things around town. Is this what it feels like to be a real artist?